Non-pinned fire extinguisher discharges in cab of skidder

Safety Alert Type: 
Hazardous Materials
BC interior region
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A fire extinguisher was inadvertently discharged in the cab of a skidder, dispersing the chemicals throughout the cab while the machine was in motion.

The extinguisher was missing the required safety pin thereby allowing the lever to be engaged when the operator was moving other objects in the cab.

As a result, the operator inhaled a significant amount of the chemical before exiting the cab after a number of unsuccessful attempts, and later that day was forced to visit the hospital.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Potential Hazards:

  • Inadvertent discharge due to a fully charged fire extinguisher missing a safety pin.
  • Potential flying projectile due to a fully charged fire extinguisher not being properly secured.
  • Fire retardant chemical dispersed in a very confined space while moving:
    • Disorientation resulting in a collision.
    • Chemical inhalation.

Preventative Actions:

  • OHS Reg Sec 16.34 – Start of shift inspection.
    • The operator must inspect the equipment before the start of operation on the shift…
  • OHS Reg Sec 16.35 – Securing tools and equipment.
    • The operator must maintain the cab, floor and deck of mobile equipment free of material, tools or other objects…
  • According to the Canadian National Fire Code (which is adopted both Provincially & Territorially), fire extinguishers must be inspected as part of a monthly safety regimen, as well as serviced annually.


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